Interview: Jessica Blatt on Race and the Making of American Political Science — Epistemic Unruliness 34

In this episode, John welcomes Jessica Blatt, Associate Professor of Political Science at Marymount Manhattan College, for a conversation about her 2018 book Race and the Making of American Political Science. What was political science’s role in shaping a de-radicalizing ‘race relations’ paradigm? How did the early discipline of political science turned to categories of ‘race’ in a bid for foundation funding and claims to scientific knowledge? What are the pedagogical implications for political scientists today of the book and of this genealogy of racism in the discipline? Tune in to explore these and other questions about a sometimes (read: frequently) ahistorical and not particularly self-reflective discipline).

Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. RSS feed here. Patreon here. Thanks to Bad Infinity for the intro music from their album FutureCommonsalways already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.





Teaching the Political Theory Canon – AAP Pedagogy Hour

Join us for this special episode of the AAP – special because all of your hosts are actually in the same place, and special because we devote the whole episode to pedagogy. Rachel, John, and previous guest host Siddhant Issar convene in St. Louis  to discuss what it means to teach the political theory canon in our contemporary political situation. How important are all these dead white European men in shaping the politics of today? What is the best way to engage students in teaching the canon? How can one both teach the canon – as many have to do – while also challenging structures and discourses of racism, patriarchy, and colonialism? Listen in as we try to puzzle through some of these challenges. Stick around for some dream analysis, as we try to interpret a listener’s dream about mahogany rooms and never-ending curtains.

Support us on Patreon to help us upgrade our recording equipment. Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. RSS feed here. Thanks to Leah Dion for the intro music, to Jordan Cass for the music in between segments, and always already to B for the outro music. Get the mp3 of the episode here.

N.B. John’s syllabi are available here.


Interview: Banu Bargu on the Weaponization of Life

Over at New Books in Global Ethics and Politics, John interviewed Banu Bargu on her recent book. Thanks to the NBN, we are cross-posting the episode here.

What is the relationship between state power and self-destructive violence as a mode of political resistance? In her book Starve and Immolate: The Politics of Human Weapons (Columbia University Press, 2014), Banu Bargu (Politics, The New School) analyzes the Turkish death fast movement and explores self-inflicted death as a political practice. Amid a global intensification of the “weaponization of life,” Bargu argues for conceptualizing this self-destructive use of the body as a complex political and existential act. In doing so, she theorizes a reconfiguration of sovereignty into biosovereignty and of resistance into necroresistance. To accomplish this, the book innovatively weaves together political and critical theory with ethnography in a way that enables the self-understanding and self-narration of those in and around the death fast movement to speak to canonical thinkers and concepts.




Interview: Neil Roberts on Freedom as Marronage – Epistemic Unruliness 6

Thanks to our friends at the New Books Network, we are cross-posting John’s interview with Neil Roberts for New Books in Global Ethics here. Enjoy!

What does it mean to be free?  How can paying attention to the relationship between freedom and slavery help construct a concept and practice of freedom that is “perpetual, unfinished, and rooted in acts of flight” (181)? In his book Freedom as Marronage (University of Chicago Press, 2015), Neil Roberts (Africana Studies, Religion, and Political Science, Williams College) explores this and many other questions. Proceeding from and working with the concept and practice of marronage – modes of escape from slavery emerging from the Caribbean – Roberts articulates a theory of freedom that is historically specific while having trans-historical reverberations, and that is attentive to lived experiences of freedom and slavery. In doing so, he engages histories of the transatlantic slave trade, colonialism, diaspora, the Haitian Revolution, and American slavery. Arguing for the need to creolize political theory and philosophy, Roberts also takes up the thought and practice of W.E.B. DuBois, Hannah Arendt, Philip Petit, Frederick Douglass, Angela Davis, Toussaint L’Ouverture, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Edouard Glissant, Rastafari, and much more.





Ep. 24 – Jane Bennett, Vibrant Matter

In this very special episode of Always Already, join all four co-hosts as they peer into the depths of Jane Bennett’s vital materialism in Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. That’s right! Emily, Rachel, John, and B are all together to unravel the meaning of non-human agency, objects-as-subjects (or the collapse of that divide all together), and the co-implication of living and non-living entities within a political ecology…or does that distinction even ‘matter’? Along the way they talk about thing-power and its relation to politics, whether Bennett’s approach is irretrievably anthropocentric, and more. Is there an ethics to be derived from Bennett’s analysis? Listen as we lucidly (we hope) explore what an object-oriented ontology tells us about the “we” in our political engagements–and how can “we” prepare an equitable system on a plant of things and (non/human) animals? Can the group coexist all together in a hot, tiny, room? All this, and then advice about what gift to bring to a significant others’ family and about going to conferences without presenting, plus analysis a dream about flooding bathrooms.

Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Like our Facebook page. Get the mp3 of the episode here. RSS feed here. This episode’s music by Rocco & Lizzie and by B.